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And the Sun Stood Still


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#76    Jor-el

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Posted 15 March 2013 - 08:09 PM

View PostBen Masada, on 15 March 2013 - 07:22 PM, said:

Throughout the Bible we have references to the fall of kingdoms and political powers reported as the fall of the stars from heaven and other instances of catastrophical disasters in the heavens above. Then the author chose to embelish Joshua's strategy of the five kings in the cave of Makkedah to metaphorize the inertia of the sun and moon in the sky. If it were possible the use of a time machine to go back in time to that event, I am sure Joshua would refer that success to his strategy and not to a literal interpretation that the sun indeed stood still. And I am sure you agree with me, but it is almost equally catastrophic to watch one's illusions washed through under the bridge, especailly after many years that one has been fed on them. This happens more often with old people. You know, habit is too hard to break.

Ben

Okay I'll bite...

Please provide me with one or two examples (it shouldn't be a problem since as you state there are many examples throughout the bible) of references to the fall of kingdoms and political powers reported as the fall of the stars from heaven and other instances of catastrophical disasters in the heavens above.

Joshua 10 is out as an example, since it is the central theme of our discussion.

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#77    Jor-el

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Posted 15 March 2013 - 08:26 PM

View PostSherapy, on 15 March 2013 - 07:26 PM, said:

I enjoy reading Ben's thoughts on the biblical metaphors, his posts reflect that he has put thought into his perspective, I think he adds a lot to the discussion and it is my impression that he is framing his opinion as just that. You are not suggesting that your perspective is the only one possible are you?

No I'm just helping Ben out as his adversary in the discussion at hand. He needs to see the weakness of his points as well.

Point 1. The text does not read as metophor but as historical fact. (Irrespective of if one believes in it or not). This is demonstrated by the wording of the text, as I pointed out to him, and the content used in the narrative, there is no indication of poetic licence or of metaphorical content. The only thing backing up his position is the incredible nature of the events related. If one does not believe said events happened, then the only road left is to cry "metaphor".

Point 2. The nature of the events do not conflict with what we know of the natural physical laws of the universe, if one applies the hypothesis that superior capacity or technology is applied beyond our present knowledge. (and we ain't talking about magic)

Point 3. The reference to the sun and moon standing still in the heavens in Joshua 10 is actually a quote from another book, one that has since been lost. We do not know in what context the reference was used in that book, was it poetic or a narrative of the event by a 3rd party, we simply do not know.

Point 4. Just to be a little pesky I will add the following:

1. 2,400 BC - The canons of the Chinese emperor say, 'In the lifetime of Yao, the sun did not set for ten full days and the entire land was flooded (by an immense wave), that reached the sky'. http://www.ancient-w...k/astronomy.htm
2. Babylonians recorded an account of a day twice the normal length.
3. Seneca, Roman writer, wrote about the sun reversing its course and blotting out the night.
4.Herodotus, Greek historian, was shown by Egyptian priests an ancient manuscript that told a story about a day that was twice as long as the normal.
5. Egyptian heiroglyphics translated by Fernand Combette read, ” The sun, thrown into confusion, remained low on the horizon and by not rising, had spread terror among the great doctors.”
In the western part of the world, instead of a long day, ancient civilizations recorded account of a long night.
1.  Quiche Mayas of Guatemala: “… they remained standing and great was the anxiety in their hearts and stomachs as they wait for the coming of the dawn and the day.”
2. Aztecs of Mexico recorded that both the sun and the moon stood still after sunrise.
3. American Indian tribe Omahas mentioned, ” the sun being caught in the rabbits top and was released before dawn”

Edited by Jor-el, 15 March 2013 - 08:43 PM.

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#78    Sherapy

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Posted 15 March 2013 - 09:47 PM

View PostJor-el, on 15 March 2013 - 08:26 PM, said:

No I'm just helping Ben out as his adversary in the discussion at hand. He needs to see the weakness of his points as well.

Point 1. The text does not read as metophor but as historical fact. (Irrespective of if one believes in it or not). This is demonstrated by the wording of the text, as I pointed out to him, and the content used in the narrative, there is no indication of poetic licence or of metaphorical content. The only thing backing up his position is the incredible nature of the events related. If one does not believe said events happened, then the only road left is to cry "metaphor".

Point 2. The nature of the events do not conflict with what we know of the natural physical laws of the universe, if one applies the hypothesis that superior capacity or technology is applied beyond our present knowledge. (and we ain't talking about magic)

Point 3. The reference to the sun and moon standing still in the heavens in Joshua 10 is actually a quote from another book, one that has since been lost. We do not know in what context the reference was used in that book, was it poetic or a narrative of the event by a 3rd party, we simply do not know.

Point 4. Just to be a little pesky I will add the following:

1. 2,400 BC - The canons of the Chinese emperor say, 'In the lifetime of Yao, the sun did not set for ten full days and the entire land was flooded (by an immense wave), that reached the sky'. http://www.ancient-w...k/astronomy.htm
2. Babylonians recorded an account of a day twice the normal length.
3. Seneca, Roman writer, wrote about the sun reversing its course and blotting out the night.
4.Herodotus, Greek historian, was shown by Egyptian priests an ancient manuscript that told a story about a day that was twice as long as the normal.
5. Egyptian heiroglyphics translated by Fernand Combette read, ” The sun, thrown into confusion, remained low on the horizon and by not rising, had spread terror among the great doctors.”
In the western part of the world, instead of a long day, ancient civilizations recorded account of a long night.
1.  Quiche Mayas of Guatemala: “… they remained standing and great was the anxiety in their hearts and stomachs as they wait for the coming of the dawn and the day.”
2. Aztecs of Mexico recorded that both the sun and the moon stood still after sunrise.
3. American Indian tribe Omahas mentioned, ” the sun being caught in the rabbits top and was released before dawn”

So to make sure I understand you Jor el, you think this actually happened, that the events related in Joshua  10 are historical fact?




#79    Paranoid Android

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Posted 16 March 2013 - 03:50 AM

View PostFrank Merton, on 15 March 2013 - 08:13 AM, said:

The criticism of miracles based on the difficulties about them our modern knowledge creates are useful.  After all, if the text says, "Such and such happened," then we cannot sidestep this by saying God made it appear to happen, or God did something else that had that effect.  We have to stick with the sun stood still in the sky, etc.
Only if the text does not allow a metaphoric interpretation.  For example, Creation in Genesis 1-2 bears resemblance to Hebraic poetry, therefore we can use a poetic understanding.  The sun standing still in Joshua 10 does not have a poetic style but is written as fact.  Therefore, whether we believe miracles are possible or not (I do believe they can and do happen) the author intended it to be read as an actual historical event.


View PostFrank Merton, on 15 March 2013 - 08:13 AM, said:

Still, if you are talking about a being that can do anything, then maybe we should just forget all this and just accept it as a miracle and relax.

Except there is a more general problem with miracles.  If God created it all in the first place, why does He have to do special things to interfere with the working of His creation?  Its as though what he made is not quite functioning and he has to make adjustments here and there.
In Genesis 12:1-3, God promises to look after the Israelites.  He would bless those who bless Abraham (and his descendants) and would curse those who cursed Abraham (and his descendants).  If God then just sat back and allowed things to pan out naturally, how could God uphold his side of the covenant?


View PostFrank Merton, on 15 March 2013 - 08:13 AM, said:

This is also a problem I have with certain kinds of prayer -- those where we ask God for something.  It may not be selfish -- say we are praying for world peace.  What are you really doing here?  You are asking God to interfere.  You are in effect asking God to replace what He wants with what you want.  No wonder these prayers so often end with a sort-of apology "Above all Your will be done."  Such prayers are a bit much -- please do what I want but if You don't want to then please don't.
Prayer is not just about asking for things.  In a nutshell, prayer is simply talking to God.  We can talk to him about anything and everything.  Those who treat God as a glorified "genie in a bottle", only talking to him when they want something, well, they remind me of Users - think about it, if someone you knew only ever talked to you when they wanted to borrow money, how long would it take before you realised they didn't really care about you, but about what you were willing to give them?

But with that said, some prayers do include asking for things, and you are absolutely right - we're asking God to interfere.  But not necessarily.  Let's say I ask God for $300 to buy something.  Perhaps I may walk down the street and a freak gust of wind blows a discarded betting slip that just so happens to have an unclaimed $300 win.  But perhaps not.  Perhaps if I cancelled a pay-tv subscription ($80-per month) and downgraded my internet service (from $40 to $20-per month).  Then I put the $100-per month aside and in three months I have the money I asked for.  I don't have pay-tv, so it's a purely hypothetical example, but it gets my point across.

I see nothing wrong with asking God to intercede on our behalf.  At worst, it helps us to organise our thoughts.  Let's say I pray to God to help me get a job interview, I won't get any interviews unless I go out and give me resume to various work places.  So praying to God leads me to canvas the area with my resume.

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#80    Jor-el

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Posted 16 March 2013 - 12:50 PM

View PostSherapy, on 15 March 2013 - 09:47 PM, said:

So to make sure I understand you Jor el, you think this actually happened, that the events related in Joshua  10 are historical fact?

Pesonally I think that the events related in joshua 10 are based on the eyewitness accounts of something extraordinary that happened. The people who wrote the text did not have any special knowledge of the world, they related things as they interpreted them, even if they got the actual facts wrong.

When I started getting involved in this debate I mentioned to Ben that the whole thing could be explained through a comet that happened to break up in the earths atmosphere. In this case the language used in the text is not an accurate description of events, but rather a confused account that was embellished.

On the other hand, the whole thing can also be explained with a miracle in which all God had to do was manipulate the time flow on the earth without needeing to do anything else. In effect we could say that he created a bubble of time around the planet that allowed us to experience 24 hous in the space of a few minutes of universal time.

Either way, I say, that yes, something did happen, we simply can't chalk it up to metaphor.

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#81    Beany

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Posted 17 March 2013 - 05:42 AM

View PostBen Masada, on 05 March 2013 - 07:31 PM, said:

A message is inaccurate according to preconceived notions. What helps some could not be the same help for others. Those who enjoy a world of illusions prefer to stay with the myth that the sun and the moon did remain still for a whole day. Those who enjoy the exercise of reason are glad that now they can see how detrimental was to live with the shadows within the cave.

Ben

Hard to argue with Plato.


#82    Beany

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Posted 17 March 2013 - 05:53 AM

View PostWoIverine, on 14 March 2013 - 08:43 PM, said:

I posted this months ago!  Nobody even considered it. No one had any explanation for "a missing day during the historic record."  Glad to see you brought it back Ben. :tu:

Always thought references like this were interesting:

Discussion of the Missing Day in Earth's History(The Day the Sun Stood Still)

It is reported by historians that records of the Chinese during the reign of Emperor Yeo, who lived at the same time as Joshua, report "a long day." Also, Heroditus, a Greek historian, wrote that an account of "a long day" appears in records of Egyptian priests. Others cite records of Mexicans of the sun standing still for an entire day in a year denoted as "Seven Rabits," which is the same year in which Joshua defeated the Philistines and conquered Palestine. ("Bible-Science Newsletter," DAILY READING MAGAZINE - Supplement, Vol. VIII - No. 5, May 1978, Caldwell, Idaho.) Additionally, the historical lore of the Aztecs, Peruvians, and Babylonians speak of a "day of twice natural length."

In 1970, a story appeared in "The Evening World," a newpaper in Spencer, Indiana, about a consultant to the space program named Harold Hill (deceased) citing that he was told a computer program had found a "missing day." Though the computer program story could never be validated, interesting speculations and studies ensued about what astronomical mechanism might result in the "Earth standing still" for 24 hours.

One person suggested a large asteroid, perhaps 480 miles in diameter, may have struck Earth's mantle slowing Earth's rotation to a standstill by causing the hard mantle and molten core to separate for 24 hours as a bicycle's speed brake might slowly bring the wheels to a halt with the inter spokes continuing to rotate. After 24 hours, the friction between the stationary mantle and rotating core would accelerate the mantle to rotate once more.

The mechanism and collision would have to be somewhat viscous so that both the deceleration and acceleration was so gradual as to go unnoticed by Earth's inhabitants. The theory cites Professor Totten as writing that Newton described a way Earth's rotation could abruptly be slowed without its inhabitants noticing the slowing. A close encounter with the asteroid Hermes (500,000 miles) by Earth in 1937 is given as an example of the likelihood that such a collision might have occurred in Joshua's time.

The existance of a depressed (sink ) region of great size between Hawaii and the Philippines featuring long fracture lines at the bottom of the Pacific Ocean which extend outward to the continents is offered as the remains of the asteroid causing the loss of a day in the Earth's history. ("How To Live Like a King's Kid," Harold Hill with Irene Harrell, Bridge Publishing, Inc., South Plainfield, New Jersey, 1974, p. 74.)

I googled the missing day, and found a lot of sites that basically said the claims made about Harold Hill are false, i.e. Snopes. there's also a lot of stuff about the biblical account, as well. I suppose a person should read the information then decide on the degree of accuracy.


#83    coolguy

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Posted 17 March 2013 - 06:13 AM

Very cool ben thanks for posting and i do believe the sun stood still..


#84    Ben Masada

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Posted 18 March 2013 - 08:49 PM

View PostJor-el, on 15 March 2013 - 08:09 PM, said:

Okay I'll bite...

Please provide me with one or two examples (it shouldn't be a problem since as you state there are many examples throughout the bible) of references to the fall of kingdoms and political powers reported as the fall of the stars from heaven and other instances of catastrophical disasters in the heavens above.

Joshua 10 is out as an example, since it is the central theme of our discussion.

I have posted another one of the kind as a thread so that others can enjoy at the same time: It is under the title "The Back Steps in he Sundial of Ahaz."  And another one is about the column of cloud by day and the column of fire by night to guide the Israelites through the desert for 40 years. But this one after another week so that time be given to the first one to get some replies.

Ben


#85    Ben Masada

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Posted 18 March 2013 - 08:58 PM

View PostBeany, on 17 March 2013 - 05:42 AM, said:

Hard to argue with Plato.

Not too hard. He was simply letting us know that the majority of us are happy with the shadows and have no need or interest to understand what causes the reflexion.

Ben


#86    Jor-el

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Posted 18 March 2013 - 08:58 PM

View PostBen Masada, on 18 March 2013 - 08:49 PM, said:

I have posted another one of the kind as a thread so that others can enjoy at the same time: It is under the title "The Back Steps in he Sundial of Ahaz."  And another one is about the column of cloud by day and the column of fire by night to guide the Israelites through the desert for 40 years. But this one after another week so that time be given to the first one to get some replies.

Ben

Hmmm Ben, sorry to be a stickler but I just read the examples you provided in the other thread and also in regards to the columns of cloud and fire.... where are the stars, sun and moon in all of that?

The examples were specifically about those as far I can determine by the context.

Throughout the Bible we have references to the fall of kingdoms and political powers reported as the fall of the stars from heaven and other instances of catastrophical disasters in the heavens above.

Those were your exact words... that is the entire basis of your metaphorical viewpoint, so a little substantiation would be in order, don't you think? Neither of your given examples fall in to either of the categories you provided in your quote.

Edited by Jor-el, 18 March 2013 - 09:00 PM.

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#87    Ben Masada

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Posted 18 March 2013 - 09:02 PM

View Postcoolguy, on 17 March 2013 - 06:13 AM, said:

Very cool ben thanks for posting and i do believe the sun stood still..

Of course! It is much more convenient and exciting that way. What's life without illusions? For some, not worthy living.

Ben


#88    Jor-el

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Posted 18 March 2013 - 09:36 PM

View PostBen Masada, on 18 March 2013 - 09:02 PM, said:

Of course! It is much more convenient and exciting that way. What's life without illusions? For some, not worthy living.

Ben

It is not all convenient, if we pay attention to the text, we cannot in all fairness play the metaphor card here, that would be oh so easy and convenient.

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#89    Ben Masada

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Posted 19 March 2013 - 08:39 PM

View PostJor-el, on 18 March 2013 - 09:36 PM, said:

It is not all convenient, if we pay attention to the text, we cannot in all fairness play the metaphor card here, that would be oh so easy and convenient.

If metaphorical language were that easy and convenient, all the illusions of literal interpretation would be erased from the pages of the Scriptures. But the common theist prefers the illusion of miracles. More exciting that way.

Ben

Edited by Ben Masada, 19 March 2013 - 08:39 PM.


#90    Jor-el

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Posted 19 March 2013 - 09:04 PM

View PostBen Masada, on 19 March 2013 - 08:39 PM, said:

If metaphorical language were that easy and convenient, all the illusions of literal interpretation would be erased from the pages of the Scriptures. But the common theist prefers the illusion of miracles. More exciting that way.

Ben

That is the God we believe in, not some theoretical being that does not involve itself in its own creation. Why are we believers? Because God is actually there for us and that sometimes includes miracles. You can rationalize it all you want but the truth is that a God that doesn't care for his people is not God at all.

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